Lavery Spearheads the Purchase of the Montreal Canadiens by the Molson Brothers and Their Partners

Since the spring of 2009, Lavery has played a key role in the purchase of the Montreal Canadiens, the Bell Centre and its related businesses by a group of investors headed by the Molson brothers.

The Molson brothers initially retained Lavery’s services to help them prepare an offer to purchase all the Gillett family’s holdings in the Montreal Canadiens and the Bell Centre businesses.

The first phase of the mandate involved the due diligence review of the entities targeted by the proposed purchase, including the hockey club, the Bell Centre real estate complex and the Gillett Entertainment Group. Lavery was also involved in setting up the Molson led partnership that would make the offer to the Gillett family.

Once the Gillett family had accepted the Molson group offer to purchase, Lavery became the advisor to the group and started working on the partnership agreement, at the same time as negotiating the credit facilities with the lenders and the purchase agreement and other related documents with the Gillett family representatives.

When the Molson group decided also to purchase all the interests held by Molson Coors Brewing Company put up for sale by the Gillett family, Lavery’s instructions were extended to preparing and negotiating this second offer to purchase with Molson Coors' representatives, followed by the preparation of this second purchase agreement and related documentation.

The team from Lavery also had to ensure that the Quebec Government had all the information necessary to adopt the order-in-council authorizing Investissement Québec to participate in financing the purchase.

At the same time, other members of the Lavery team held regular talks with representatives of the National Hockey League to enable them to obtain the consent of the League’s Board of Governors for the proposed transactions.

"We are very proud to have made a major contribution to such an important transaction in the North American professional sports industry. The members of our team successfully led all the legal aspects of an extremely complex acquisition file on behalf of all the members of the purchasing group headed by the Molson brothers," said Jacques Paul-Hus.

The following lawyers from Lavery were involved in completing: Richard Dolan, Gérard Coulombe, Jacques Paul-Hus, Francis Desmarais, André Paquette, Marie-Andrée Gravel, André Vautour, Sébastien Vézina, Guillaume Lavoie and Valérie Boucher (corporative/commercial); Chantal Joubert and Nicole Messier (real estate); Catherine Maheu and Josiane L’Heureux (labour and employment); Josée Dumoulin (pensions and benefits); François Renaud, Pierre Denis and Benjamin Gross (financing); Luc Pariseau (tax).

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